Kaha:wi – Re-Quickening
Piecing together fragments of Indigenous knowing, Re-Quickening is a re-affirmation of life and healing from issues of violence against women and Earth. Conceived by Artistic Director Santee Smith, the Indigenous process was an inter-cultural, inter-Nations approach with collaborators looking to narratives encoded in Indigenous patterning and story, traversing the inner sacred landscape of inverted/backwards woman, Changing Woman, Sky Woman, Clay Woman and Mother Earth.
Re-Quickening premiered as part of of Harbourfront Centre’s 2015/16 Next Steps dance series. The performance takes the prevailing discourse surrounding international Indigenous women’s issues and incites a tough topical dialogue through performance, music and art, fuelled by re-constructing feminine power. Does reconciliation mean the same thing to everyone, including those living on Turtle Island? Re-Quickening goes there, while facilitating an artistic re-awakening of her-story. “By piecing together fragments and shards of Indigenous knowing, this production acts as a reaffirmation of life and healing from issues of violence against women and the Earth,” says Santee. She also makes it clear that the driving force behind Re-Quickening are Indigenous voices, “It’s about our experience and it’s our truth.”
Devised from Indigenous methodology, Re-Quickening boldly goes where few dare, and is led by a powerhouse team of international Indigenous women collaborators: Santee Smith (Kenien’keha:ka/Mohawk Nation), Monique Mojica (Guna, Rappahannock Nations), Marina Acevedo (Zapotec descent), Frances Rings (Kokatha Tribe descent), Louise Potiki-Bryant (Kāi Tahu, Kāti Mamoe and Waitaha descent, Māori), Bianca Hyslop (Te Arawa, Ngati Whakaue, Maori), Nancy Wijohn (Te Rarawa, Tuhoe/Ngati Paoa, Ngati Tahu, Māori), Cris Derkson (Cree descent). Guided by the words of artist-activist leaders Leanne Simpson (Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg ancestry from Alderville First Nation), Christi Belcourt (Métis), Alva Jamieson (Onkwehon:we), Leigh Smith ((Kenien’keha:ka/Mohawk Nation) and elder Maria Campbell (Métis).
Inspired by narratives encoded in Indigenous symbol and iconography, and traversing the inner scared landscape of Backwards woman, Changing woman, Skywoman, Claywoman and Earth Mother, Re-Quickening deals with stripping away the layers of colonial imposition on women’s body-mind-spirit and the re-affirmation of life, of voice, of body sovereignty. Re-Quickening aims to open up pathways for re-storing internal fractures and to re-ignite feminine position and presence – Mana Wahine, Konkwehon:we.
Known for award nominated scores KDT’s Re-Quickening will not disappoint with an original score by collaborators: Cris Derksen (2016 JUNO Awards nominee), Humberto Alvarez (MX), David R. Maracle (Kenien’kehá:ka/Mohawk Nation), Jesse Zubot featuring vocals by Polaris Prize award winner Tanya Tagaq (Inuk), Eugene Draw and Santee Smith. Re-Quickening design includes: Lighting, Arun Srinivasan; Video, Louise Potiki Bryant; Set, Andy Moro (Mushkegowuk Cree descent); Costumes, Adriana Fulop; Props, Adrian Harjo and Steve Smith (Kenien’kehá:ka/Mohawk Nation)
Re-Quickening is a spiritual resurgence, tipping colonialism on its head. The performance touches on themes of dislocation from land, body and voice; the history of violence against Indigenous women since contact; residential schools; and the assimilative processes of the Indian Act towards reclaiming women’s blood ties, rites, umbilical connection to land and healing.
Re-Quickening – It’s time to re-awaken the giant within.